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How to prevent child swimming deaths and injuries this summer

Now that summer is in full swing, a lot of Oakland residents will be out enjoying the nice weather. If you own a pool, this probably means swimming with the kids and perhaps inviting the neighbors over for a pool party.

But as a pool owner, you also need to be aware of the serious responsibility that comes with this amenity on your property. Each year in the United States, 390 children drown and another 5,100 suffer serious injuries related to pools and spas. Many of these deaths and injuries could be prevented with proper adult supervision.

These statistics were recently released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which just announced its “Pool Safely” campaign. According to the CPSC, most of the 390 children who drown each year are younger than five years old. And all of the 5,100 children who suffer pool and spa-related injuries are under the age of 15.

Other statistics show that pool and spa hazards are especially prevalent here in California. According to the U.S. Swimming report, California was among the top three states in the nation last year with the highest number of pool and spa deaths among children aged 14 and younger.

If you have children, please make sure that they take swimming lessons before they are allowed to swim on their own. And even if they are trained, it is always a good idea to have a lifeguard or adult there to supervise.

And if you own a pool, make sure that you make safety a top priority with guests as well as with your own family. Pool and spa owners who do not make sure their property is safe and well monitored may find themselves liable in a premises liability lawsuit.

Source:, “390 kids drown in US pools each year, reports find,” Silvia Rodriguez, May 23, 2013

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